The BSU Observatory hosts public and private viewing events, runs K-12 workshops, and provides academic resources for student research, astronomy courses, and service-learning. Remaining summer 2019 public nights have been cancelled due to the high EEE risk.
Public Viewing Events
Fall 2019 Public Nights
This schedule is subject to change depending on when the university's nighttime-event ban due to the EEE risk is lifted.
Weather-Dependent: During public nights, the observatory's viewing patios are open with multiple telescopes for you to look through and a staff of astronomy enthusiasts ready to talk astronomy. This Fall will start out with planets Jupiter and Saturn, the Ring Nebula, Messier 13, and the Dumbbell Nebula as some of our best targets. As winter nears, the lovely Andromeda Galaxy, Pleiades, and Double Cluster will become more prominent. Be sure to check our weather announcement before making the trip. You may park in the West Campus Lot. Dates and times for Summer 2019 are:
- September 25 and 28 from 7:30 - 9:00 pm.
- October 2, 5, 9, 16, 19, and 23 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm, and a special Halloween event (see event description below) to occur on either October 28 or 30 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm depending on the forecast.
- November 6, 13, 16, 20 and 23 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.
Haunted Observatory Halloween Event
Date is Weather-Dependent: This event will occur on Monday, October 28 or Wednesday, October 30 depending on the long-term forecast. We will make the decision no later than October 27. It is possible that both days may be cancelled if the weather is too severe on both days to take our equipment out.
Each year, the observatory staff dress up as some of their favorite scientists from the past for this event. Previous costumes have included Marie Curie, Erwin Schrodinger, Henrietta Leavitt, Galileo Galilei, Hypatia, James Maxwell, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, and many others. Each staff member either plays the role of their character fully or is well-versed in the life of their scientist so they can speak with you about them. We decorate our observatory for the occasion--and of course, we still show amazing celestial objects through our telescopes.
Weather allowing, the event will run on the chosen date from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Please check the weather message before making the trip!
Call our hotline at 508-531-DARK a few hours before all events to check whether we will be open (or follow us on Twitter @BSUObservatory, or check our Facebook page). You may park in the West Campus Lot behind the Science and Mathematics Center. Use any entrance and make your way to the building's central lobby. There, you will find elevators and stairs to take you to the 5th floor observing decks.
- If using the elevator: Use the right-hand elevator to go all the way to floor 5.
- If taking the stairs: Go all the way up the main staircase to the 4th floor, then turn right and right again. Enter the first door on your right (it's red). The staircase behind that door takes you to the 5th floor.
Observatory outreach sessions are free, appropriate for all ages, and made possible by the support of BSU's Physics department as well as CASE, the Dean's Office, Provost's Office, Office of External Affairs and the Office of Academic Affairs. Please visit our Outreach Program page to learn more about our outreach program. Please visit the CASE website to learn more about other STEM outreach opportunities.
If you require any special accommodations, please call the observatory manager at 508-531-2093 as far in advance of your visit as possible so we can meet your needs!
If you wish, you can print out a parking pass--this is not necessary during our event times, but would prevent ticketing outside those times. Visit the Parking Service Website to print a pass.
The Observatory hosts an active outreach program that welcomes members of the community. We host up to four events per week at night
The BEAR Team, funded by the NASA MASGC (Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium), is a group of students dedicated to observational astronomy research.
Astrophotography is the art of imaging of astronomical objects, usually through telescopes. Please explore our image gallery.